Steve Robertson (2), Dale Richards, Ryan Withers
Sam Packer was in outstanding form and Steve Robertson scored twice as Royal Wootton Bassett Town made it four wins in a row with a 4-0 triumph against Henley Town.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town enjoyed a rather comfortable afternoon as they recorded their fourth straight league victory with a stylish 4-0 triumph against Henley Town.
Rich Hunter's team's attacking football was as slick as the damp Gerard Buxton Sports Ground pitch and, after going into half time with a slender advantage despite controlling proceedings, they swept aside their Oxfordshire opponents in the second period.
Sam Packer, playing the majority of the game in his favoured number ten role, was in particularly devilish form. More or less unplayable, Henley had no answer to the Bassett playmaker, who must have had a role in close to a dozen of the chances the hosts created.
He played a key role in the game's opener on nineteen minutes, perfectly weighting a return pass to set free right winger Dan Bailey, who cut the ball back from the byline for Steve Robertson to provide an emphatic finish into the top right corner.
That goal had followed a somewhat nervous start, punctuated by a third minute opportunity which fell to Henley's Chris Hood after a poor touch from Steve Yeardley inside his own penalty area. However, Hood's snap shot was fortunately turned around the post by a fast reacting Curtis Meare.
Once they were ahead though, Bassett were in control.
Packer came close to doubling the lead moments after Robertson had struck, hammering a 20-yard shot from the right edge of the area narrowly past the opposite post.
Adam Corcoran's far post header from Dale Richards' corner then appeared to be destined for the back of the net, yet was deflected wide.
On 33 minutes, Packer, aided by a slip from his marker Mitch Cooper, raced onto Corcoran's clipped ball over the top and found himself with only 'keeper Matthew Hill to beat. Opting to attempt a lob from just outside the area, rather than advance on goal, he again was a matter of inches away from taking his tally of goals for the season to four.
Not that he let the frustration of failing to register a goal affect his performance. He continued to be at heart of Bassett's forays forward. His cut back and Robertson's deft touch on the edge of the area set Bailey in with seven minutes to go until the break, but no goal was forthcoming as Hill raced off his line to take the ball away from Bailey's feet.
Packer's through ball then set an overlapping Bailey in on goal. Again the winger was thwarted by Hill though as the 'keeper parried his low effort from a tight angle across the face of goal.
Bassett's half time lead should really have been more. But they quickly established a more comfortable advantage after half time.
Yeardley played a brilliant pass to Packer in the right corner, and his cross into the danger area just evaded Robertson. The Bassett forward was quickly able to jump on the loose ball, steering in cross from the left edge, which Dale Richard guided home with a header from ten yards.
Chances kept coming Bassett's way. After racing onto a Robertson's through ball, Packer unselfishly sought to play a square pass back when in on goal, but the forward could only snatch at his effort affording Hill a relatively comfortable save.
Richards soon nearly had a second when his stooping header from Bailey's corner wasn't gathered clearly by the Henley stopper. However, Hill was able to dive on the ball just as it appeared set to roll over the line.
The game was eventually killed off with twenty minutes remaining. Substitute Kias Bonner-Shaw cut inside from the right and saw a shot from a tight angle blocked. The rebound fell to Robertson who was never going to miss.
It was quickly four as Ryan Withers, another substitute who injected dangerous pace, raced clear before coolly picking out the bottom corner when one-on-one.
Moving the ball around at will, Bassett were in full control. And come full time it could well have been six or seven.
Indeed, Robertson should probably have at least completed his hat-trick. He saw a close-range strike from Bonner-Shaw's cutback swatted away before then failing to get a toe on the end of the same player's low fizzing cross.
Finally, with two minutes remaining he put a shot from an angle across the face of goal after latching onto Packer's superb defence splitting pass which had been played with the outside of his right boot.
Man of the Match: Sam Packer – Henley had no answers for the playmaker, as he constantly found a way in behind their backline. It was probably a welcome relief for the visitors when Packer dropped into a deeper role late in the game.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Saturday 10th December 2016 at 21:20
Steve Robertson (2), Dale Richards, Ryan Withers